85 Year old Margaret discovered Co-op Wellbeing Walks, after experiencing problems with her mobility due to knee and hip pain. Following a hip replacement taking part in the regular walks allowed her to improve her fitness.

“In 2017 my walking was slowly deteriorating.  So, shortly after my 80th birthday, I saw a spinal and orthopaedic surgeon/consultant.  He suggested that he replaced my left knee because it was pulling me out of line. The operation in July 2017 was a success, the knee quickly healed, but the arthritic pain in both hips continued.  When the pain became unbearable, I gave the go ahead for my left hip to be replaced in the November, and my right hip, the following year in July 2018.  Finally, I began to experience more pain free movement.  But my ability to walk was finally triggered by Chris, my next-door neighbour when she suggested that we should join one of the Co-op Wellbeing walks in and around Lincoln.  We chose Whisby Nature Park.  We began to walk regularly every Friday.

I can never forget, Brian Holman, one of the leaders, he was so patient and encouraging, walking with me at my own pace, but all the time gently encouraging me to walk a little further each week.  He suggested I used walking poles for the one hour walk, around one or two lakes, to keep me up-right, rather than use a walking stick. These walks are designed to encourage people, like myself, who are tempted to stay indoors because of ill health, to get out into the fresh air, commune with nature, exercise and socialise.

My walking continued to improve.  During the pandemic I discovered the Arboretum in Lincoln where I walked regularly, until the ‘Wellbeing Walks walks were re-started on a Friday at Whisby Nature Park. But sadly, towards the end of May 2021, suddenly without any warning the muscles in my left leg seized up.  It was a difficult summer, but after medical intervention, I am now walking again and attending the weekly wellbeing walk.

A special word of thanks to Brian Holman who continues to be so patient, walking with me, at my present pace, but all the time still encouraging me to walk a little further, a little faster, each week.  I still use walking poles, these days, around one lake, just over a mile.  The pain has disappeared and I am now able to walk short distances without any walking aids.  Suddenly I feel free to get on with my life, thanks to ‘Walking for Health’ and Brian Holman’s patience and encouragement.”

If you’d like to join a co-op wellbeing walk, find out more about them here or find your nearest one by searching for walking on the Activity Finder.

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